So, I slept with my professor

Sex on Tuesday


“So you’re telling me this happens a lot here?”

“Oh, yes. I had a maths professor at the Sorbonne who would pick the brightest girl every term to be his pet. They all knew this. They would sit in the front of class and ask for attention. Of course, all would be jealous of the girl who was ultimately chosen.”

“Isn’t that a little fucked up?”

“It is very common here in France.”

As disturbed as I was, the image of this phenomenon incepted itself into my mind in the most insidious way. I’d heard of girls in high school fucking older men and bragging about it. I’d done my fair share of flirting with science teachers in middle school when I first uncovered my sexuality but still found teenage boys nasty. I’d had enough schoolgirl fantasies during second period to make a feature-length porno. Same thing in college: didn’t hear a word my professor said in my Shakespeare seminar, drooled through English classes without learning a thing. I wanted to fuck my sociology GSI with every fiber in my nether regions. I knew I was — how do you say — a “sapiosexual” from an early age, but the power-play of a student-teacher relationship became particularly appealing to me as well.

Are you a sub?”


“I’m like a sub-sub-dom, I guess.”


In her seminal essay, “Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment,” prominent professor and feminist Jane Gallop offers an explanation of the sexual harassment charges brought upon her by two female students. She argues that current conduct codes existing in U.S. universities enforce a policy of silence and restriction that thwart all potentially meaningful sexuality between students and teachers. In attempting to justify her own sexual relationships with students, though, Gallop ignores the ultimately protective function of such policies.

The inherent power dynamics involved with any master-apprentice relationship are such that some erotic advances may only be accepted out of intimidation or fear of negative consequences to grades. People can hardly handle sex with peers, let alone with authority figures, so this impediment to “natural sexuality” is an obvious side effect of larger security measures against sexual harassment. In many ways, Gallop embodies a characteristically French sexuality that is unfortunately and impossibly lost in translation in the United States.

Her notion of the eroticism of education, however, is a fascinating one and is an arguably universal phenomenon. While navigating positions of power and dom-sub dynamics can be tricky, a sexual relationship between consenting adults can be incredibly fruitful when teaching and learning are also involved.

When my professor walked in on the first day of class in all his statuesque glory, wearing a half-buttoned Oxford shirt and chalk-covered slacks, I nearly dropped my pants on the spot. “Love at first sight,” I claimed — I’m that type. Flash forward four months:

“Being with you is a gift,” he said as he stroked the hair that fell down my naked back. I lay on my stomach as we both looked out onto the street at the unfortunate passers-by who weren’t lovers like us. “You’re perfect.”

I knew it was in the cards for me when our knees touched during office hours. I asked him about Hegel, he got up to close the door — not all the way, but ajar. “Go on.” He walked me home after our second meeting. By the third, I was dreaming about him. I’d come to class far past Berkeley time, visibly sulking, “Sorry.” He’d send emails, “I appreciate how your mind works.” I’d reply, “I need to see you outside of class.” Never once did I feel sexual pressure on his part; every one of our intimate encounters, I initiated.

I’d had one too many glasses of wine the night I fell into his lap. He drove me home, we kissed on my sofa, went back to his later on. I never expected that a one-night stand with my professor would turn into something so spectacular. “Our bodies were made for each other,” he’d tell me. We could talk for hours and never sleep. We’d talk about love and death and literature, and it was beautiful. Our secret bore so much wrong from the outside but was so perfect from our perspective.

Yes, he was in charge of my grades, but we both knew I’d have gotten an A regardless. What started out as a typical teacher fetish turned into one of the deeper relationships I’ve ever sustained with a person. The age difference didn’t pose a problem for us beyond Twitter and Bruce Springsteen. I found that the power dynamic I was initially attracted to quickly dissolved in favor of a deeper understanding of him; I grew attracted to other things, and we grew connected on a level beyond a student-teacher relationship.

We could discuss the same topics as in class but without the nagging sexual tension that existed previously. “Making love” allowed us to integrate the erotic and the didactic into a single force that hit me like a ton of bricks. “I miss you,” I wrote him when I eventually left the country. It was fleeting, but it might have been love.

Boni Mata writes the weekly Sex on Tuesday column. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @yungEwaste.

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  • Very natural and most enjoyable! Yes the writer is maybe a little keen on establishing her Lyotard-ean bona fides and there’s a slight touch of literary condescension, but she is smart and motivated and fun and doesn’t give a rip what repressives think…my type of college girl! These relationships are very real and very fun. I have been enjoying my liaisons with undergrad students for over fifteen years, in fact, I seek them out via online forums and not just in my uni town but wherever I travel. We invariably enjoy the high quality intellectual, emotional and sexual exchange – she is usually an interesting and engaging companion and moderately knowledgeable in basic sexual activities, and she always has a steadyeddy peer-group bf or sometimes gf, but she wants more, much more. She wants to taste and feel the world. Of course, who doesn’t? She knows FiftySh##s is ridiculous wannabe fantasy but still, craves being opened up and led to submit by a real world-class master. That means a worldly, educated, savvy man who is considerate, nurturing, demanding, very experienced and can relate to women with respect and consideration as well as possess a mildly disturbing level of awareness of the psychological and anatomical bases of female desire. Twenty-something males simply cannot deliver at this level no matter how smart they think they are. I know, I was one of them once..

    I must say, I loathe the socially-saturating, patronizing and frankly misogynist attitude that college girls from 18 to early twenties are not capable of handling and enjoying their own sexuality as they wish – and if they want to be mastered and ravished by a considerate, expert dominant professor then even better, I’m the man. However, I never seek out my own students because there are too many potential issues and TBH I prefer the lack of drama of non-professional connection with undergrads. Also, never grads, far too many potential power issues there.

    When a curious girl responds, I always ensure she’s not in my class! A couple of times I’ve had to postpone the action because of this conflict. But if she’s not, then let’s go! I’ve enjoyed numerous liaisons over the years and the girls are cool-headed, fun, very sexy, no problems as long as we all know the boundaries. Just like it should be in real life outside the prof/student dynamic, eh? But it rarely is as good as this… now I must head to my offcampus “tutorial” where my luscious freshman slVt will meet me in that low-cut top, short skirt and heels that she knows I love…mmmm!! She will get what she craves, as always. So will I. What could be better than that?

  • ezra.jones

    Yeah I agree with you here but you’re a real snot.

  • czarnajama

    This looks like a very successful bit of click-bait! Fiction, of course.

  • Katie

    Wow. Sorry you are receiving such hateful and ignorant comments. I thought your article was beautiful, well-written, and very real. You can’t choose which form love comes in. This article is raw and honest. If readers don’t like it, don’t read it and certainly don’t call the author a slut. As if you haven’t had similar situations or thoughts…. C-mon people.

  • Neighbor

    “If an adult is being sexually (or otherwise) exploited in an unequal power relationship, that’s what institutional rules an”
    Yes we have discussed this was against Berkeley rules. Instructors should not view their less powerful, often worshipful students as a convenient dating pool. Same with counselors, therapists, bosses etc. Again this is not a feminist issue, it is about exploitation and favoritism. Instructors who play favorites hurt the whole class. Everybody loses except the person in power. Who apparently wins all your sympathy.

    • SMH

      Hi “Neighbor”, I’m not sympathetic to either *ADULT* — neither to the legally *ADULT* female student (who would also lose the respect of her classmates, as an additional *ADULT* consequence and lesson to learn), nor to the, of course, adult professor.

      I think that they should *BOTH* (as, of course, a matter of properly/fairly/objectively conducted procedure) be investigated (and not just one-sided, knee-jerk, ‘politically correct’, automatic blaming solely of the male, while she gets to, perhaps, hide behind being a purportedly ‘helpless’ woman as a repeatedly rewarded strategy in life), and that they *BOTH* suffer the appropriate available institutional penalties (especially if there was a quid pro quo, explicitly or implicitly, on both sides) — or if it goes beyond the institution, then the appropriately available legal penalties (if the student/subordinate hypothetically and somehow, by some legal argument, wants to pursue any possible sexual harassment/discrimination claim &/or lawsuit).

      • Neighbor

        It’s not a question of male vs female. One is in a position of power, the other is not. Being able to complain about someone’s abuse of power is not the same as having power over that person.
        In other words, if a female psychiatrist takes advantage of the powerful feelings of transference projected on to her by her patients, by having affairs with the ones she finds attractive as a diversion from her boring marriage, who would be at fault? either legally or from a professional ethics standpoint.

        • SMH

          Hi “Neighbor”, As I said before, I’m in agreement with most of what you say about the unethical conduct. But, I’m *not* in agreement with treating a legally *adult* woman (even a very young adult woman) *variably/alternately* like a *child* in one instance, but as a legal adult in another instance (like, also with possible naive negative consequences, being able to sign for financial credit, or engage in other legal contracts, or vote) — variably according to some other people’s personal *sentiments*.

          Adult behavior (including any naive hero-worshiping, whom any confided, let us say female, friend/s probably *repeatedly* told her was wrong/dangerous anyway) has *adult* consequences that *adults* must learn to recognize — at least from likely an ultimately negative experience. And it’s *widely known* by adults that such conduct is unethical which is why it was kept secret in this case (well at least here with regard to the professor’s name, if her story is true, but even if it isn’t, it’s a great disservice to the campus community), as though there aren’t 1,000’s of other fair candidates on a university campus, besides 1,000’s more in the community, for, especially, a female student to sleep with.

          Where would you draw the age line? What if it were an older female grad/doctoral student, or a post-doc, returning to academic studies after working out in the world, hero-worshiping or calculatingly (in a quid pro quo) sleeping with her supervising professor — or even her *younger* supervising/committee professor? What if student and professor (say, a rather young adjunct or assistant professor) were only a few years apart in age (say, the student in their early-mid-20’s and the prof in his later-mid-20’s)? Where are you going to draw the age line as to what’s “exploitation” and who’s exploiting whom? — although in some cases of a very young adult student age, and a much older professor, we might casually, morally and easily agree about who’s likely being exploited or who’s using whom as a dating pool exploit. But, what if the student were a very young adult *male* student and the professor either a female (or male) professor? Is the very young adult *male* student naively and helplessly being exploited?

          A professor is *not* a state board certified and licensed psychiatrist and a young female student is *not* a *patient* (who, thus, in fact, and in theory, is *expressly* there to reveal all their most private thoughts as they occur in the course of treatment, and thus the patient inherently leaves her-/himself open and vulnerable, and they actually do have legal confidentiality, which is why a psychiatrist cannot normally be compelled to legally testify against a patient) — and there are already *state* board ethics and legal regulations (including actionable malpractice standards) covering sexual relationships (or other forms of exploitation) in those instances. And a psychiatrist is, in theory, actually able to have a patient committed and held (even pharmaceutically sedated) against a patient’s will for some period of time.

          But, the professor (or instructor) *is* a status *employee* superior (in fact, a professor is an officer of instruction) and a psychiatrist is running a *practice*, so the greater weight of any institutional or legal penalties (although neither not normally existing for a patient) should be against the *superior* — except that presumably both student and patient could be dismissed, and a student should be otherwise sanctioned if there actually were an explicit/implicit/developed quid pro quo relationship with a professor. Because, neither he, nor *she*, is being fair to students who are *not* sleeping with their professors.

          In the case of student and professor, I’m compelled to respectively treat both adults as an *adult* (even in the supposed, openly willing case of the adult female Daily Cal op-ed writer above) — whereas you are obviously sentimentally (and patriarchally?) compelled to institutionally/legally hit the male professor and let the ‘oh-so-helpless’ female student (even though she’s greatly and *knowingly* unfairly advantaging herself over her student classmates or colleagues who are academically working much harder) go blithely *free* (because you’re completely infantalizing young *ADULT* females) without *any* even significant *institutional* consequences (during or after the fact) — and that is not how life-experience consequences learning occurs for *any* adult student.

          Look at Boni Mate’s photo: does she look completely naive and emotionally helpless? — or does she look like she’s *always/regularly* used to getting her way if she can, using whatever she can. As I said before, if her story is true, then professor and student were *both* playing each other.

          If you still have a problem with my line of reasoning about *ADULTS* and *ADULT* consequences for *ADULTS* — and why your ‘parallel’ example is *not* a parallel — then I can’t analytically help you any further.

          • Neighbor

            No I do not think she looks naive, and as I mentioned above it turns out she is not even a student, she seems to be a professional writer, possibly even living far from UCB, hired by the paper. (if you follow her twitter link anyway). Personally I find that a little misleading, one would assume the opinion columnists are all students.

            As far as the age difference – doesn’t matter in a power relationship- could even be reversed! An instructor has power over students, they teach them how/what to think about a topic and they hand out grades. it is an unequal relationship by definition. It isn’t that I hold people like Boni Mate blameless, I don’t. But why can’t you agree with the ethical philosophy that teachers should NEVER get involved with students?* Most importantly it harms the rest of the students. And an instructor is in a far better position to understand this (or should be!) than some flirtatious, manipulative student however repulsive the student’s actions may appear to others (especially fellow students).

            *In the extremely rare event that they actually fall i love the solution is to wait and not act while the student-teacher relationship exists.

          • SMH

            Hi “Neighbor”:

            Neighbor: “It isn’t that I hold people like Boni Mate blameless”

            It certainly seemed that way to me.

            Neighbor: “But why can’t you agree with the ethical philosophy that teachers should NEVER get involved with students?”

            And *where* — please *copy-&-paste* — in *any* of my comment posts have I said (or even implied/suggested) otherwise.

            (But, while it may be questioned or frowned upon, and may not even be wise, I don’t think there is any institutional or even ethical prohibitions against a closer-proximity aged student, say some grad/doctoral student or post-doc, and professor or instructor, between whom they have absolutely no formal academic or employment relationship, and are not in the same department/school — neither with respect to grading, recommendations of any kind, or admissions — in an intimate relationship. It’s not unusual or unexpected for individuals from the same at least geographic community to find each other and enter into relationships. Not ALL such relationships would be inherently unhealthy or inherently unethical. Linus Pauling dated and eventually married his wife who was a former student when he was a professor — and, to say the very least, he never *at all* struck me as some pervy old man/womanizer.

            I know that in some companies/corporations that, if you’re in management or some supervisoral-subordinate relationship, you can’t date someone in the same department, you can’t even be married and work in the same department, and if you’re even in the same division, you must sometimes/often ‘register’ that relationship with Personnel and sign some kind of contract about your working relationship/conduct or about what happens if the relationship goes sour, breaks up, and either person might then hypothetically want to try to claim sexual discrimination/harassment against the other person.)

            I’m male (and straight), but I’ve had multiple, simultaneous, all-female roommates/housemates (sometimes 2, or 3, or 4) all my adult life since after my freshman year in college: they make a place look and feel more like home, the at-home human scenery is better (at least for me), female roommates/housemates have told me that it’s actually *nice* to have a guy around to break up the female monotony, and I’ve eaten *very well* for someone who basically can’t cook (in exchange for usually doing the dishes after common meals, taking out the garbage, and mechanically or electrically fixing things that go wrong).

            My point about that is, at least one of my female roommates was widely known, especially by those who knew, or knew of, her on campus, as “a walking centerfold!” She also one confided in me, “I like to dress so guys ‘can almost see’, but not quite!” I called her often coquettish, sometimes guilty, facial expression her, “Who, *me*!?”, look. Male students in her grad department would often fall all over themselves trying to help her with her projects and win favor (or hope for a relationship). One day she comes home (to our shared luxury apartment) telling me that one of her professors came onto her, right in his office (behind closed doors, of course), and when she politely declined (in spite of her coquettishness, she actually was academically very capable and didn’t need to sleep with any professor, but she was happy to win the academically right professors’ appeal), he — a *grown-ass* man — started, she said, *crying* right in the office, right in front of her (I told her probably because he was scared to death that she might tell on him). But, the *first* thing I said to her was, “[*Name*,] you *know* what you *did* to him…” (my alluding, for the very first time ever, to her purposely coquettish behavior and sexy dressing style). She just knowingly laughed in response — and _didn’t even try_, to *me*, to put up a defense/argument.

            So, yes, there might be the case of some awe-struck, overwhelmingly naive, 18-, or 19-, or even 20-year old female student in the rhetorical hands of some 40-/50-something year-old, distinguished, bearded &/or charismatic professor. But, don’t *KID* yourself about the ‘Boni Mata’s’ of the academic or workplace world. They are used to, and long-experienced at (they were probably the cutest & shapeliest cheerleaders in high school or even middle-school), using their charms &/or sexuality (even just to lead a guy on, even just in case they need the guy for a practical favor), they crave attention even when they already get so much, they often crave ‘bad boys’ or daringness, and they’re often more psycho-sexually mature and experienced than many women 10, or *15*, or *20*, or even *more*, years older [especially those who go/went to academically highly competitive schools], and *they’re* the ones who know how to wrap guys around their fingers. So, *you’re* the one who is naive and lumps Mata and *ALL* such girls/women in with your stereotype of the innocent little naive 18 year-old freshman flower academic hero-worshipper, away from sheltered home for the very first time in her life.

            In some respects I partially like/d such girls/women like Mata because they are not afraid of normal guys: such girls/women know what they like, they know what they want, they often know what they can expect (even a natural/situational ‘expiration date’ on a relationship), they don’t over-think things to death, they’re sexually quite adventurous and *real* good in bed (again, often *much* better than women much older!), and they’re *USED* to largely getting what they want (because most guys fawn all over them like I *DON’T/DIDN’T* do to/with such women). Now that doesn’t mean they won’t ever get themselves into serious trouble or consequences because of their great, sometimes overestimating / overplaying ego and not knowing that the world *doesn’t/won’t* always play their *games* — especially when their game is over. And the *best* time for them to learn is the *first* time or as soon as possible.

            Yes, certain schoolplace/workplace relationships are strictly unethical or even, perhaps, a violation of trust for someone who *is* truly naive, but don’t *kid* yourself: whether Boni Mata’s daring story is true or not (even just the fact that she could make up such a relationship and publish it in a widely-read publication) show’s that she’s no completely naive babe in the woods, and seriously lacks judgement either way. And, she should *also* suffer some kind of even after-the-fact consequence (perhaps a withdrawal/cancellation/nullification of any academic recommendations from UC Berkeley, or whatever she might be suffering in her current academic/career position, including any loss of respect from her peers/colleagues), especially if her story is factual and can be verified. As I said in a previous comment post, whether her story is true or not, I think she’s already made herself *radioactive* — and that’s a very serious, negative consequence already because she couldn’t even keep her mouth shut — unless she’s working for a small, single-owner shop of, at most, just a few, if any other, employees, and is already sleeping with the boss.

            I do agree with some comment poster above who said that whether Mata is a UC Berkeley student or not, or wherever she is, that the Daily Cal, now that it has in bad judgement, in effect, blatantly *sensationalized* such relationships, and has done a great disservice in doing so to/about, especially, female students (especially those who don’t seek such relationships), and who don’t want to be trivialized/stereotyped, should run a sociological examination/essay/commentary about the unethicalness, possible formal and peer consequences, and ramifications of such relationships as described by Mata.

            Got *any more problems* with what I said…?: just curious. It’s a casually interesting sociological discussion. But, as long as women like Mata don’t bring any darkness to *my* doorstep, or negatively affect *me*, or any of my friends, then I don’t really care about girls/women like Mata…: they’ll seriously overstep one day (she probably already *has*, right on this page).

          • LarrySiegel

            Well said and much more sensible than most of the replies here.

          • SMH

            Btw, “Neighbor”, I didn’t plan on typing so much, but actually I’ve written numerous formal (sociopolitical) commentaries (and sometimes casual ones) myself (what I call analytical commentaries) over the years, so I like discussing sociopolitical ideas, and I’m used to typing a lot if the mood strikes or makes it sufficiently interesting, and you are obviously sincere and intellectually considered, and I appreciated the dialogue (as long as my time could afford it).

          • SMH

            Neighbor: “An instructor has power over students, they teach them how/what to think about a topic”

            It’s only been a few instructors/professors who have ever inspired me enough to have taught me how/what to think. What did Ice Cube say about college (and school in general) in his rap song (see it at YouTube), “Higher Learning”?: “teaching me to memorize nothing but the lies.” It’s been that way through most of my schooling, especially since I’m Black (same for most intelligent Brown people, too, generally so, except for any ethnic studies) — and I’ve occasionally warned others: Don’t let school/college get in the way of your education! I’ve learned even how to *think* analytically and critically mostly *outside of* school — even college. Most of what I’ve learned that’s really *interesting* has been mostly outside of school — even college. College just gave me the *time* and *place* to also discover and read other, often far more interesting, books/material and discover and meet sometimes very interesting people and friends (students and staff), many of whom were easily intellectually smart enough to have become professors themselves, but didn’t want to go that often very political/establishment route, especially if you’re not a shmoosher and not white and, thus (even if white and incisive), just didn’t want to play, or didn’t have the temperament for, that often very political game to get tenure at, especially, “elite” universities.

            [As Spike Lee has often said, “Film school primarily just gave me the benefit of the equipment, not so much of the teaching.”]

            I’ve listened patiently and thoughtfully to instructors/professors, and was often known as the really incisive guy who, when I raised my hand, and if I was called on, was known to correct the *instructor/professor* when they lapsed into lazy thinking, or even with especially some professors at UC Berkeley, *intellectually/academically abusive* teaching [even, otherwise, in certain professional/advanced-degreed schools that borrringly try to academically inculcate *solely establishment &/or corporate* thinking], and sometimes much to their embarrassment, or upon occasion even to their thoughtful acceptance (if they were smart enough to recognize I knew what I was talking about in those instances, rather than be further embarrassed)!

          • SMH

            Neighbor: ” An instructor has power over students… it is an unequal relationship by definition.”

            I wanted to address this fixation of yours.

            If her story is true, she could, or could have, cost him his job! — or his position (if he’s a dean, a director, a chair, a supervisor, or has some other elite position) — or his major grants. That’s rather powerful to me!

            All an undergrad student could really get is badly, emotionally hurt. (Or maybe their grade/s might, and probably should, be revoked.)

          • SMH

            Neighbor, Keep in mind that not even “Boni Mata” might be her real name — especially since you say that you can’t trace her as a UC Berkeley student. Although, there *is* a woman with a reasonably similar name listed in the UC Berkeley student directory. But I couldn’t find her, a woman of the right age range and residency, if she’s out of school, in a people search directory. “Literary” (ahem) writers, especially social/cultural commentary writers — or fiction writers — sometimes alter or change their public writing names, especially if they’re a woman writing on risqué or taboo topics, using quite florid — suspiciously overly-florid in Mata’s case — language.

            After all, her byline *doesn’t say* she’s a UC Berkeley student; it doesn’t say what year she is; it doesn’t say what major/department she’s in; it doesn’t say she’s a member of any club/association on this or any other campus. So, you’re possibly right: the Daily Calif could be misleading all its readers about some or any of its columnists being students at UC Berkeley, or anywhere else, or even being a Berkeley or Bay Area resident, unless the byline says so, as well as to the reasonable truthfulness of their columns.

            So, the Daily Cal’s *credibility* would be under question. Is that the kind of journalism, even as op-eds, the Daily Cal wants to promote? “Boni Mata” could just be an aspiring freelance writer trying to gain sensationalism and self-promote a social commentary career. What next for her: daytime talk shows? Or, maybe she’s looking for a career at the New York Times!

  • Reason

    Ahem! Barf.

    A goddess? People are humans. Women are humans. Please rethink equality.

  • Reason

    Now THERE’S a PhD you can count on! And if her career tanks because she’s incompetent, she can always make money from a lawsuit!

  • Reason

    Reverse the gender perspective and this becomes flatly wrong, perhaps something from a Hustler Magazine fantasy. Male teacher instantly loses his job and goes to jail wrong. And it’s still possible he can get charged somehow, since the author couldn’t give consent: “I’d had one too many glasses of wine the night I fell into his lap.” We live in a happily sexist regime now, one where men are vilified and women are idolized for the exact same act. Clearly, equality is not the goal of feminism.

    • Neighbor

      Again not everything ever done by a woman is a feminist act or statement. This is just a naive and rather narcissistic young woman trying to impress her readers with her supposed sophistication. Nothing to do with feminism, the opposite in fact. She has a lot of growing up to do, and I still maintain that this piece should have been more properly vetted by an editor or faculty advisor. Or at least a response should have been published by now addressing the student body about why this is unethical behavior.

      • Reason

        It is that this is being presented as fact, as a matter of pride and without criticism, despite the many ethical violations that smacks of feminist approval in the editing and publication process. If something goes against the feminist viewpoint, it is struck down anywhere in the media that is not a powerful safe haven; if something distasteful agrees with the feminist “empowerment” narrative, there is resounding silence. Clearly, the article wins feminist approval, yet the reverse would be condemned without hesitation, perhaps even ending a career. Feminism IS sexism.

        • Neighbor

          I also have no idea why this has remained unchallenged, I am a bit shocked myself and have expressed that in the thread. One reason maybe that the campus and this newspaper are quiet with the end of semester stuff and no one has paid much attention? I think we need to see an editorial response to this column and the ethical questions that have been brought up (and should have been discussed in the column itself).

        • Neighbor

          I wrote another reply before the one that posted, addressing the feminism charge but it is not here for some reason. I pointed out that no feminists were defending her on this thread, and that no feminists anywhere that I am familiar with would defend this. Feminists have actually been a force for developing workplace guidelines that prohibit these relationships. She is not helping herself or other women with this behavior or by writing articles like this.

          • Reason

            So why has she not been forced by feminists to issue an apology, like she would have to do if she were a man writing the same piece?

          • Neighbor

            First I have no idea how you imagine that feminists are going to force anybody to do anything. But that is irrelevant because she has nothing to apologize for. She was exploited by an older, more powerful instructor who should be the one to apologize. It is normal for students to have crushes on teachers (similar to the transference some experience with therapists) but unethical of those teachers (and TAs) to take advantage of the situation.

            And the editor of this paper should issue an apology for the ethical lapse along with a statement of UC Berkeley policy. The fact that it is an opinion piece may make it a gray area but it seems pretty clear to me that some adult at the university needs to step in here and take this opportunity to educate the UCB community. Or at least add it to the top of the article as a disclaimer.

          • Reason

            Your reply has me in tears! Feminists unable to force anything?! The INSTRUCTOR held the power?!

            Um, feminists bitch-slapped the President into an on-campus male-education genocide. This is a president who stood up to Al Qaeda. I mean, I guess there’s only so many terror tactics he can fight at once, I guess. And to think an instructor, who can *oooooh* fail her for one course by lying surely holds power over a student who can take his entire career, wealth, marriage, reputation and freedom with a single phone call. She was EXPLOITED??!! Yeeeeah…

            These feminist-style half-baked arguments are twice chewed, twice regurgitated cud that sat out in the summer’s heat and three rainfalls. But, if we just keep repeating the newsfeed, bilious sheeple will flock in droves to this wayward ideology, rooked in and fleeced by their feminist masters. You can’t see you’ve been conned? Really..?!

          • Neighbor

            “can take his entire career, wealth, marriage, reputation and freedom with a single phone call.”

            She can do nothing at all if he acts like an adult and ignores her childish seduction attempts. And even if he doesn’t, that result happens in very few cases. More likely he will be protected. This abuse is widespread.

            Anyway your replies are getting nuttier with these ravings about “male genocide”so I think I will end this conversation here.

          • Reason

            He could be unconscious, strapped down and imprisoned in Antarctica, and she could still ruin his entire life with such a charge, even decades later. And in Canada, if she were discovered a fraud, she would not likely get charged, under the theory that it would discourage future victims from coming forward. So, who has the power?

            “She can do nothing at all if he acts like an adult”

            Because she is only in her twenties, can vote, drink, join the army, have babies and become a doctor, and doesn’t need to be an adult and an equal in all matters that may look bad on her?

            “Anyway your replies are getting nuttier with these ravings about “male genocide”so I think I will end this conversation here.”

            Um, you mean “lie and run”…? My wording was precisely “on-campus male-education genocide”. You know, as in make it absolutely impossible for hetero males on campus to enjoy normal youthful existence equal in privilege to that of females?

          • Reason

            Y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶r̶e̶p̶l̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶e̶a̶r̶s̶!̶ F̶e̶m̶i̶n̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ ̶u̶n̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶?̶!̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶I̶N̶S̶T̶R̶U̶C̶T̶O̶R̶ ̶h̶e̶l̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶?̶!̶

            U̶m̶,̶ ̶feminists b̶i̶t̶c̶h̶-̶s̶l̶a̶p̶p̶e̶d̶ ̶ urged the President into an on-campus m̶a̶l̶e̶-̶e̶d̶u̶c̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶. improvement. This is a president who stood up to Al Qaeda. I mean,I̶ ̶g̶u̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶’̶s̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶s̶o̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶t̶e̶r̶r̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶a̶c̶t̶i̶c̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶f̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶c̶e̶,̶ ̶I̶ ̶g̶u̶e̶s̶s̶.̶ ̶A̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶t̶r̶u̶c̶t̶o̶r̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶*̶o̶o̶o̶o̶o̶h̶*̶ ̶f̶a̶i̶l̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶r̶s̶e̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶l̶y̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶u̶r̶e̶l̶y̶ ̶h̶o̶l̶d̶s̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶t̶u̶d̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶t̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶e̶n̶t̶i̶r̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶e̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶w̶e̶a̶l̶t̶h̶,̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶r̶i̶a̶g̶e̶,̶ ̶r̶e̶p̶u̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶e̶e̶d̶o̶m̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶i̶n̶g̶l̶e̶ ̶p̶h̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶l̶l̶.̶ ̶S̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶E̶X̶P̶L̶O̶I̶T̶E̶D̶?̶?̶!̶!̶ ̶Y̶e̶e̶e̶e̶a̶h̶.̶.̶.̶ this was a good thing.
            T̶h̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶f̶e̶m̶i̶n̶i̶s̶t̶-̶s̶t̶y̶l̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶l̶f̶-̶b̶a̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶r̶g̶u̶m̶e̶n̶t̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶w̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶c̶h̶e̶w̶e̶d̶,̶ ̶t̶w̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶g̶u̶r̶g̶i̶t̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶c̶u̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶s̶a̶t̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶u̶m̶m̶e̶r̶’̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ ̶r̶a̶i̶n̶f̶a̶l̶l̶s̶.̶ ̶B̶u̶t̶,̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶w̶e̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶k̶e̶e̶p̶ ̶r̶e̶p̶e̶a̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶s̶f̶e̶e̶d̶,̶ ̶b̶i̶l̶i̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶e̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶f̶l̶o̶c̶k̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶d̶r̶o̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶w̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶i̶d̶e̶o̶l̶o̶g̶y̶,̶ ̶r̶o̶o̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶f̶l̶e̶e̶c̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶f̶e̶m̶i̶n̶i̶s̶t̶ ̶m̶a̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶.̶ ̶Y̶o̶u̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶s̶e̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶’̶v̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶n̶e̶d̶?̶ ̶R̶e̶a̶l̶l̶y̶.̶.̶?̶!̶

            Really, it was a good thing. I’m so happy.

  • Robert O’Marley

    So you slept with a rapist……..

    WHAT you say? Had you awakened the next morning and thought “ugh, what was I thinking – it must have been the wine”…..and complained……then by the feminist definition he was a rapist (position of power, alcohol).

    And it was all determined by how you FELT not by what he did………..

  • SMH

    Syntax correction: (or, rather, the ones he *wasn’t* sleeping with, no doubt using the very same lame lines [with the ones, besides you, that he might have been] to make them [those females] seem so ‘special,’ in addition to with you)

  • sifaka

    I am going to assume that this cliche’d essay reflects something that actually occurred. The banality of the story suggests that it might actually be a true story of a vain and self-absorbed undergraduate woman. That said, I find it startling that the author sees nothing wrong with revealing a liaison that is in violation of Berkeley and most undergraduate institutions policies on sexual relationships between faculty and the students they are teaching. Even if it weren’t in violation, it is so obviously unethical that I find it hard to believe that the author sees it in any other light. Given the author’s clear sense of her “specialness” it it no surprise that she doesn’t appreciate either banality of her story or the cliche’d nature in which it played out. That she would now jeopardize the faculty member so that she can have an additional 15sec of public “glory” communicates her vapid nature, even better than does her stilted writing and sense of entitlement.

    I wonder whether the author paused for a moment to think the effect that describing her ethical poverty might have on discussions of sexual assault on campuses. While many are working to create a college environment where faculty don’t use their position and privilege to entice undergraduates into sexual relationships, the author thinks it “cute” that she actively sought out just such a sexual relationship. She presents a first class example of what professors have claimed when caught in such unethical relationships, that it was the student who initiated the inappropriate relationship. This undermines the efforts of those who work to make faculty student relationships professional relationships. It is unfortunate that there is not policy that would allow this student to be sanctioned for violating the code of student faculty interactions. She is a dangerous women which the faculty member she seduced (he should have had the good sense to avoid her as the toxic person she is) is likely to soon discover if his name becomes public.

    If on the other hand this is just poorly written satire. Then never mind.

    • SMH

      If this is a true story, then regarding, “That she would now jeopardize the faculty member” (but why would anyone be so sympathetic to *him* [that seems male-centric], anymore than to *her*?, as they *both* got into that kettle of ever-so-increasingly hot water), this is no doubt by now a *very* frighteningly good lesson (I’m sure by now he *is* quaking in his boots!, even more-so if he’s married, with even kids, possibly) — if not eventually a very damaging practical lesson — about why he shouldn’t date his students, particularly one quite self-absorbed, self-centered, and quite overly self-special: “YOU WROTE ABOUT US IN THE *DAILY CAL*!!!?”

      I bet that *”Dangerous Femme Fatale”* was ‘written’ all over her forehead (in fact that’s what even her coyish but dangerously sly picture looks like to *me*) — but (if this story is true) her professor plowed through all the warning signs…: “Danger Ahead!”…; “*Really*, Danger Ahead!!”…, “*Really Really Really*, DANGER Ahead!!!”



      And — in a disservice to women in general — if/when her relationship explodes, she (this *adult*) will try to hide behind being a *female*!

    • SMH

      Whether Boni Mate’s story is *true* or *not*…: *who’s* going to ever want to *hire* her (ever for a student job or real job, unless it’s a boss looking to *sleep* with her, but now they know they could *never trust* her to keep her mouth shut, let alone brag about it in the newspaper!) — or ever want to accept her as a grad student if she attempts to go on to advanced-degreed study? Now every present or potential future male professor or boss of hers could be suspect. No one would trust her judgement or her actions — not even her fellow students! Whether her reckless story is *true* or *not*, Boni Mate just made herself *radioactive*!!

      • sifaka

        You describe what makes me suspect that this is made up. I suppose people truly do live banal, cliche’d lives and don’t think of the consequences of publicizing their ethical lapses. This does make BonI Mati toxic and likely will have repercussions later in her life.

      • Neighbor

        Yes it’s confusing actually. I don’t know much about journalism, but don’t these things go through an editor? I know it’s just a column, but it is still part of the newspaper… even if there is no oversight before posting, shouldn’t it have been taken down by now?? Is it a prank?

  • proflaw

    The University of California has adopted a strict policy prohibiting professors from having sex/dates with students under their responsibility, especially currently enrolled students in one’s class. By virtue of writing and publishing this commentary, stating such a relationship may have existed, the Regents are no “on notice” of a possible violation of its sexual harassment policy. It is now the responsibility of the UC Berkeley Title IX Coordinator, as well as the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, to conduct a full investigation into this matter. If this is fiction or fantasy, then the author should state so. Otherwise, the University has no choice but to investigate. As stated below in “Comments,” the “victims” of this possible violation of UC Policy are the “students” in the class.

    • SMH


      I, as an American friend of a foreign, female, former, INTERNATIONAL HOUSE employee and former UC Berkeley international student, once reported and submitted for her — directly and via a hand-delivered, typed, formal letter with all the relevant supporting details to THE UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR at the time and, also via email to all the officials of International House — that a *married*, *former*, male DIRECTOR (they’ve all been male and they’ve all been WHITE) of the INTERNATIONAL HOUSE very crassly solicited a *date* — definitely UNWANTED SEXUAL ATTENTION — to a female, former, part-time, I House dining room receptionist (a job she had to partly support her schooling) — while she was even actually working *ON-THE-JOB* at the time — which really quite unpleasantly and quite alarmingly caught her off-guard.

      She was both occupationally and literally cornered and on-the-spot, by no less than the Director, because she was in no occupational position to get away at the time. This was, thus, INHERENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT by an occupational *superior* against an occupational *subordinate*: the former in a position to fire (or adversely affect the job conditions, and, via university connections, possibly, adversely, the future academic prospects, of) the latter. She gave that former I HOUSE DIRECTOR no indication — *what-so-ever* — that she was interested in him — *at all*! This is/was aside from the question that who does a female student employee report such unwanted, crass, offending and insulting advances to when the offender was, *formerly*, *THE DIRECTOR* of the *institution* (i.e., I House)? And, if the *former*, then UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR wasn’t going to do anything about it, then who *would*?

      The student was a Swedish female who thought that maybe the *former* INTERNATIONAL HOUSE DIRECTOR suddenly had some American male sexual stereotype fantasy about Swedish girls/women. She felt quite *insulted* both by the crassness of his approach and by his apparent stereotype of young Swedish women. Btw, this *former* I House Director’s academic specialty is “cross-cultural communications” (oh the sheer *irony*, you *can’t make* this stuff up), about which he’s sometimes taught *classes* at UC Berkeley and given occasional public lectures elsewhere.

      But I bet that this former high official of the university — which is why she, a former, mere student and low-level university employee, didn’t personally report such inherent sexual workplace harassment — is still a “respected” member of the university. I’m sure my letter is still buried in the files in even the current university Chancellor and I-House director’s office. To my knowledge (and I would have been in a position to know) *NOTHING* — *AT ALL* — WAS *EVER* DONE ABOUT IT by the, then, university Chancellor. To my knowledge the, then, Chancellor didn’t even ask in, or assign, say, a vice-chancellor, to meet with the female student (who has since returned to Sweden).


  • PrincessPuffysleeves

    “It gives me great pause that you believe it is somehow proof of your being especially cosmopolitan or somehow elevated above fellow students in psycho-sexual awareness. (*French*, even)” – perhaps not completely unexpected for someone named “Bonnie Matthews” who goes by “Boni Mata”.

    Great comment. This article is damaging if it’s real, and vacuous and nearsighted even if not.

  • dt

    Wonderfully written and I wholeheartedly agree, speaking as a man from inside academia.

  • garyfouse

    Ever heard of professional ethics for professors? You don’t sleep with your students.

  • piapiabee

    Please tell me this wasn’t the dear old grandpa who taught my Shakespeare class at Cal.

  • HighRy

    Seriously, this is apparently the basis for equality now.

    • Neighbor

      I don’t know what you guys are talking about. Not everything women do is about feminism. This is a young woman trying to appear sophisticated, or something.

  • Whoa Mule

    The leverage in this affair is all to the student. If the Administration was to find out, the teacher would lose his ability to continue as a teacher. But, the student has a glorious summer in Europe as the lover to an older man.

    • Neighbor

      Wrong. This will follow her for the rest of her life. Many people who know her and follow her career will always remember this tidbit about her sleeping with her professors and it could hurt her in a number of ways. We all look back on those pet students with some reserve. And with some maturity she may look back at the experience with different eyes and not neccessarily have regrets but probably wont have the same positive memories and easy relationship with those professors later in life. She may wonder at a later date if it really was all about fate and her uniqueness as a woman. This is something young women may not be mature enough to realize at the time and the older, more mature and aware professors knows and another reason why it is such exploitative and unethical behavior on his part.

      • AnonymouseIsAWoman

        God yes. When I was an undergraduate I was warned by my father – a full professor – and a couple of other professors to drop my acquaintanceship with a couple of coeds in the department as they were best known for oral sex and attempting to seduce TAs and faculty in return for grades. I was considered destined for the academic big time and they wanted me as far away from “those girls” when it came time to request recommendations from both within and without the department.
        Note that I bypassed the academic big time because earning a PhD did not appeal to me, especially since a career in academia meant a career spent dealing with intra and interdepartmental politics.

        • Neighbor

          The thing is those girls may not have realized the effect it would have on their futures. Not to give them too much sympathy as I can’t stand people like that, but they are still in a less mature position and it is still exploitation by those who are more powerful.

          I just realized something and feel a bit stupid- I was assuming all the columnists in a college paper were current students, but I followed the link to her twitter feed and I do not think she is a Cal student at all, just a hired writer.

          Still irresponsible of the editor to let this fly without clarification of campus policies. The effect may be to encourage students to do this without understanding that their naivete is being exploited.

          • AnonymouseIsAWoman

            I don’t think they had a clue. One of the faculty was a younger gentleman, in his late 20s early 30s who was very ethical and compassionate. He warned me to avoid them; and he explained that they had both attempted to seduce him, and he had tried to warn them about the risk to their futures. They were unimpressed; it seems they had had good luck sleeping their way through school, and thought he was some sort of prude. He was shocked and horrified that they valued themselves so little.

  • The ‘Feminist’ movement started with
    that women socialite bragging how she slept with very important men and broke
    up numerous families and that spear-headed the very definition of Feminism = to
    break family’s apart.

    Something like the ‘feminine

    Today many women reject the Atheist Feminine Mystic because
    it’s main goals is not to elevate ladies
    but to have an avenue for them to brag of
    the sexual conquests and destruction of life, e.g. the family unit. Most
    Professors have gone to jail for sleeping with their students, a lot in the
    news lately on this very issue; nice to have your prospective on allowances for
    sex with professors; at least at college, they are near or about near adult age qualifications.

  • unbearable

    girl………. you so hot.

  • cam

    I guess this would be considered a college version of sensationalist writing. Your other writing is not bad but this one is beyond ridiculous. I’m surprised it made it through the editing process.

  • ĴⒶ₡Ҝ

    It’s hard to tell if this is fantasy, satire, or non-fiction — you haven’t provided much context. On a basic narrative level this piece is a jumbled mess; your story lacks clarity and unity. If this is a true story, then I admire your honesty, but I hope you realize that sexual empowerment and ethics violations are not mutually exclusive. Regardless of culture, teacher-student romance always creates a clear conflict of interest.

  • Don’t forget people. College is for grown ups, and grown ups get to do what they want. Good for you Boni.

    • enfantbonvivant

      Grown ups can do what they want. They can also deal with the consequences that result.

      You know what happens to grown ups when they overstep professional boundaries?

      Well, consequences, often quite dire.

    • Reason

      Good for the prof! Well, until the inevitable lawsuit, as she was unable to provide consent under the law…

  • numberonezero

    That’s classy.

    How about Ethics 101 for a challenge next semester….

  • Frank Fklife

    You’re totally wasting your education… sigh, how the heck does berkeley even screen for students, I guess this is just where Berkeley is, too many random lonely people who don’t know what’s up. There’s this thing called maszlow’s hierarchy of needs. It feels like the poor professor was duped lol but sucks to be stupid. Ah well, he still probably remembers this fondly.

  • Guest

    -_- … why would you write this stuff in the daily californian; it’s not nearly as edifying as writing about politics, scientific discoveries, or analyzing why the world works

  • Go Bears

    “the unfortunate passers-by who weren’t lovers like us” – seriously? The only thing that is unfortunate is that you don’t care about how other students feel about the favoritism obviously given to you from your “lover.” It’s disgusting and disrespectful to other students who want to be appreciated for their work as well. You are crass, selfish, and unrealistic. You mention that wanting to sleep with professors is a “universal phenomenon.” The only universal aspect of your columns is that you need to calm down. Not everyone is as sex-crazed or as shameless as you. You should write more articles to help readers with normal concerns, not write fairytales about how you live the life of a badass woman who gets what she wants. This article reeks of incessant conceited remarks.

    • ThatLibertarianGuy

      ^Yup x1000

    • Gina R.

      When you use terms like “sex-crazed” and “shameless”, this sounds an awful lot like slut-shaming. Although I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it that– you’re slamming her for being honest.

      It seems you have an (understandable) problem with the favoritism shown in this piece– but you spend more time ripping on the author than you spend addressing that problem. Why?

      • Go Bears

        Nothing about this article seems real to me. Even if what she said actually happened, she’s incredibly self-centered. Here are some excerpts: ‘“You’re perfect”,’ “we grew connected on a level beyond a student-teacher relationship,” every one of our intimate encounters, I initiated,” & “I’d had one too many glasses of wine the night I fell into his lap.” Besides being a drunk, she offers nothing to the reader besides bragging rights. If I’m critiquing that she is not helping the reader and that her article is vague, enigmatic, and gives me an overall “what the heck was this girl thinking” impression, I am indeed ripping on the author for writing about issues that probably won’t help someone who is in love with their professor. It’s unethical to her fellow peers and her actions are crass. Of course I’m critiquing the author – I think what she did was immoral, dirty, and classless. That would explain her Twitter name – “yungEwaste.” This article truly was a waste. Just my 2 cents…

  • so brave…

    • Reason

      Brave, eh? Not as brave as the professor. She can still charge him.

  • so brave…

  • Gina R.

    Your honesty is enthralling. Thanks for sharing such a fascinating story.

    • Reason

      Good. So when her male professor writes the matching article, you will support him too, right?

  • Nunya Beeswax
  • s randall

    Are you sure you aren’t really a guy?